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By | Paul Kunert 20th May 2016 15:59

EMC, Cisco and pals nail colours to the EU Remain mast

Tucci, IBM UK, Microsoft UK and more put pen to paper

American storage seller EMC is the latest tech tanker to tell the good burghers of Britain it wants the country to remain in the EU, and it even did so without mentioning Hitler or ISIS.

Outgoing CEO Big Joe Tucci and execs at other big businesses including Cisco, Ford of Europe, Airbus, Mars, IBM UK and Microsoft UK signed a letter stating their case and sent it to the FT.

UK and Ireland boss at EMC Ross Fraser tried to explain why his employer felt sufficiently compelled to add to the rhetoric ahead of the 23 June date when the British public have a chance to vote.

He said the UK would benefit from continued participation in the European Economic Area and European Free Trade Associate or be faced with negotiating bi-lateral trade deals with Europe and the rest of the world.

“Our concern is that this [exiting the EU] will slow business and government decision making for a period of time. Destabilisation of the wider EU is also a very real issue,” said Fraser.

EMC are “advocates” of an EU-wide regulatory agenda, the Digital Single Market and reckoned the UK needs to “keep its place at the negotiating table” in ongoing discussions about Privacy Shield.

After espousing the benefits of remain for market certainty, tax laws, and regulatory simplicity,, the next obvious one to mention was skills - or lack of access to them if the Brit’s split.

“Staying in the EU will mean free movement of labour across the EU, which is essential to companies looking to access this much needed talent.

Fraser claimed the tech industry is “all about freedom of data and collaborative innovation” and both of these could “become significantly more complicated if the UK decides to remove itself as a member of the world’s largest trade bloc”.

The, er, debate between the Breixteers and the Remain camp has descended into farce, with the former comparing the EU to Hitler, and the latter warning terrorist attacks are more likely if the UK pulls out.

Earlier this week Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise both came out in favour of Remain, as did IBM and SAP last month. ®

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